The Matter of Matter and How it Matters

Mass map of Abell 1689.
Mass map of Abell 1689. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


A short preface: recently, there have been a number of articles published that include the cute phrase, “matter matters” and the like. Full disclosure: I have such an article in the archives of my blog—while preceding these by some fair measure . . . . But, since so few seem to read my blog anyway, I decided to indulge in play with matter evinced in my title.


And, the matter of matter is fascinating! Physicists and cosmologists have lately made intriguing headway into answering some questions (or, at least, developing a few of the right questions) with regard to dark matter. Just a few months ago one such scientist, using über sensitive telescopes and other devises, detected radiation around the center of the galaxy. That anything could be “seen” is remarkable on unimaginable levels. Of course, that is precisely what makes advances in science possible—imagining! Two physicists in particular developed new calculations for understanding dark matter that open incredible ways for the consideration of just how miniscule we are, and exposing the arrogantly tiny minds to go along with it.


It is speculated that dark matter operates in a variety of ways just as the matter that we can see. I have to say, it is remarkable that, since visible matter makes up only 4.9% of all matter, two-thirds of which is formless energy, we could think we had any grasp of our “reality.” That said, God is revealing God’s self to some open minds (whether they recognize the numinous or no). So, it seems plausible (to those who can put together the numbers) that some forms of dark matter might “form a disc, collapsing into a plane that” interact with other dark matter to radiate, make something visible. If so, then there could be dark matter stars and dark matter planets, and these could sustain dark life (reminder: dark, in its absence of tangible detection, not in moral character).


I have often pondered the question of what did Jesus mean when He told the thief of the cross, “today you will be with me in paradise.” We consider the location of the soul after bodily death as being immediately ushered into the presence of Jesus. Yet, 1 Thess 4:17 speaks of being caught up into the heavens upon Jesus’ return, the dead first rising, etc. In another earlier blog I postulate that we might conceive of a kind of parallel universe, remembering that God is timeless, occupying all—light, dark and in between matter—space and time, beginning and end. God is here, there, before, and after. God Is.


And, then I think about how our galaxy is only a part of one universe, that is, in turn, only one of countless others. We know this only by what we (and by we, I mean those bewildering minds that can make such calculations and the instrument that assist in developing them) can see. And, what we can see is 4.9% —what?! We see only 4.9%! So, there is dark matter in our midst (and, there is evidence for this) and, this could, theoretically, form discs and space that make up what we understand to be worlds and galaxies. The implications are, well, unfathomable. Apparently, professors are not getting tenure over articulating implications too far.


But, as I do this thought-exercise, humility doesn’t even seem to go near what I feel. To imagine eternity in the context of this type of science somehow makes it still more incredible—infinite. Suddenly, the price of my groceries seems exceedingly unimportant. Don’t worry about tomorrow, God’s got it under control. . . You will have much trouble in this world—but, I have overcome! Of course, God has overcome. How could I not believe that?






By Nicole

Nicole Oliver Snyder’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, gender issues, and mindfulness practice as it affects both. Leadership, particularly in an urban setting, requires community-relations skills, and an ability to clearly convey justice issues as they relate to felt, spiritual ones. Dr. Snyder is author of Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone, and specializes in teaching mindfulness leadership development, formative spirituality, counseling, and Old Testament theology (emphasis on justice issues). She has a diverse background in international community-relations work combined with volunteer work in multi-ethnic communities, and with local institutions. She is an ordained Clergy; holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, w/Education Certificate, an MA-Counseling, MDiv Equiv., holds a Doctor of Ministry and Advanced Certification in Formative Spiritual Direction, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (MI).


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